This is a guest post for the MELD Coworking blog written by Mirela Mohan.
As the coronavirus changed the way we live and work, it has become increasingly essential for Americans to carry out their professional lives in a climate of flexibility that allows work from home, the office, or even a coworking space. While not all workers are able to work from anywhere, there are a few categories, including the bohemians, that can continue to create from basically any location.
But in which places can creatives thrive? A recent report released by STORAGECafé looks at the best metros supporting bohemian workers. Their research takes into account the highest concentration of creatives, support for bohemians according to the arts vibrancy index, housing costs, and self storage options — this group tends to benefit from such a service, as they use it to store musical instruments, art supplies, props and so on.
According to the report, the New York metro emerges as the top cultural hub in the country, followed by San Francisco, Washington DC, and Los Angeles. Apart from the already famous artistic metros, other contenders found their way among the best places for creatives as they strike a balance between a thriving artistic scene and a high standard of living.
Metros such as Bridgeport, Albany, Columbus, and Austin also claim a spot among the metros that boast an artistically inclined setting.
Metro Austin boasts a bustling artistic scene
The Austin metro area’s artistic scene has a lot to offer. Dubbed “The Live Music Capital of the World,” the area prides itself on a rich musical tradition that boasts more than 1,000 music venues. The annual film/music festival known as South by Southwest also puts Austin on the musical map of the US. “Austin City Limits,” the longest-running concert music program on US television, is also filmed in the city.
A great number of movies and TV programs were filmed here, including Miss Congeniality, season 4 of Fear the Walking Dead, and others. When it comes to the performing arts, Austin continues to shine as it claims one of the largest ballet schools in the country.
Bohemians living in the Austin metro area earn $55,489 a year, on average, a little less than the national average wage for their professions. When it comes to housing, the median home price is $318,400, per US Census data, which is higher than the national average but much lower than in other bohemian hotspots. While it may not be the cheapest place to live, the local artistic landscape is exceptional in many ways.
Creatives continue to keep Austin weird
In the Austin metro there are about 42,150 bohemians, out of which 37% are self-employed according to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Artists and people in other artistic professions make up the largest share of creatives (12%) in the Austin metro area, with 4,850 of them working in the creative field.
There are almost as many public relations specialists, who make up the second-most common bohemian profession (11%), with about 4,488 workers operating in this field.
Graphic designers are another popular creative category (8%), as there are about 3,400 bohemians that do this sort of work for a living. They are followed by photographers (6%) and interior designers (4%), with the Austin metro area boasting about 2,470 in the former category and about 1,860 in the latter.
There are almost as many writers and authors, merchandise displayers, producers and directors, and television, video and film camera operators, with 3% of the total Austin metro area employment.
Musicians and singers, librarians, public relations and fundraising managers, and postsecondary art, drama and music teachers share the same proportion of creatives, currently at 2% in the Austin metro area. There are about 990 musicians and singers and 940 librarians and media collections specialists. The metro area boasts fewer public relations and fundraising managers (870 workers) and postsecondary art, drama and music teachers (700 employees).
At the other end of the spectrum, music directors and composers (0.1%) are the least commonly found bohemians. Artists’ managers (0.4%) are also among the least encountered creatives in the Austin metro area.
About the Author
Mirela is a creative writer for STORAGECafé. With an academic background in English and translation, Mirela now covers a range of topics including real estate trends, economics, and lifestyle.
Her previous experience in proofreading academic articles has inspired Mirela to choose a writing career path. In her free time, Mirela enjoys reading but also hiking and creating art. You can contact Mirela at firstname.lastname@example.org.